An improper art aims at exciting in the way of comedy the feeling of desire but the feeling which is proper to comic art is the feeling of joy.
(James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Manuscript notebook composed in Paris, 1903-1904. Paris Notebook, The Critical Writings, eds. Richard Ellmann and Ellsworth Mason, Viking (1959).
Many of the entries in this notebook were later transposed into Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922).)
Oath and anchors equally will drag; nought else abides on fickle earth but unkept promises of joy.
(Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Encantadas" (1854), Sketch Eighth, The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).)
I would not, if I could, give up the memory of the joy I have had in books for any advantage that could be offered in other pursuits or occupations. Books have been to me what gold is to the miser, what new fields are to the explorer.
(Margaret E. Sangster (1838-1912), U.S. author. An Autobiography from My Youth Up, ch. 6 (1909).)
Whoever possesses abundant joy must be a good man: but he is probably not the cleverest man, although he achieves exactly what it is that the cleverest man strives with all his cleverness to achieve.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 400, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Mixed Opinions and Maxims, aphorism 48, "Having Abundant Joy," (1879).)